I Am as Religious as Albert Einstein

“The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who knows it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle. It was the experience of mystery—even if mixed with fear—that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to our reason in their most elementary forms—it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man…. Enough for me the mystery of the eternity of life, and the inkling of the marvelous structure of reality, together with the single-hearted endeavour to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the reason that manifests itself in nature.”,

In Einstein’s religion’s terms, I have no qualms declaring words like this as prophetic, inspiring – in their appeal, similar to that which the religious hold divine.

And it does not require, and would be wasted upon,  a deity.

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2 Responses to “I Am as Religious as Albert Einstein”

  1. Jeff Says:

    Hello-
    Hadn’t heard from you in a while over at my blog. Hope that all is well.
    You’ve always been respectful in disinterested in converting me. So I hope that you can hear these questions not with a tone of “ha-ha, gotcha!” and more in a tone of “Interesting… how does this all play out?”
    At any rate, here’s my question:
    The two things that seem like they have a tension between them are Einstien’s sentence “A Knowledge of the existence of something we can not penetrate.” and your sentence that this “does not require, and would be wasted upon, a diety.”

    It seems to me that it’s tough to get around the suggestion that Einstien is suggesting the existence of something transcendent. I’ll grant you that he isn’t positing that this Transendent has anything in common with anything within the World Religions. This interpretation could be further applied to your words:
    (Though I’m unclear why they’d be wasted.) To simply judge by your words you might be positing a Transcendent thing/reality that is not personal and is therefore not a deity.
    But I don’t think you’d want to allow for a Taoist-like creative force at the center of the universe (like the Force in Star Wars.) So I’m left wondering about your meaning.

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